Bill Evans!
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Resolution worth keeping.

My number one resolution for 2003 was to stop procrastinating and file my "resolutions" column for the January 1st issue. So much for resolutions. 

How are your resolutions coming? 

Have you lost weight? Exercised? Quit smoking? Started being nice to people, even those idiots in your own family? Frankly, I haven't seen any evidence of it among my friends and acquaintances. My excuse is the cold weather. Shivering in sub-freezing temperatures saps my energy and makes it impossible to focus on those silly old resolves. 

But as resolutions go, all is not lost. I have just read the resolution presented to the Board of Commissioners by Gene Ransom to serve as a guideline to the Planning Commission as they revise Queen Anne's Land Use and Development Code, affectionately known as Title 18.

This is a brilliantly conceived document written with refreshing clarity that is all too rare in politics today at any level.

Ransom's resolution calls for the revised code to reflect a "Vision For Our Future" as embraced by the voting citizens of the County and the newly elected Commissioners, namely, that Queen Anne’s should be:

"A predominantly rural county, with small towns connected by creeks and country roads through fields and forests – a good place to live;

A county that encourages agriculture, seafood and maritime industries, tourism and outdoor sports, small businesses and high-tech enterprises – a good place to work; 

A county that is a faithful steward of its natural and cultural heritage – a good neighbor of the Bay and the other Eastern Shore counties; 

A county in which development by some does not impair the quality of life enjoyed by all – a good community that protects the expectations and opportunities of all its citizens."

Sounds like a place you'd like to live, right?

In a few sentences Ransom reminds us of the reasons we chose to live here and provides something that's been in short supply for a number of years...hope.

As a realist, I know there will be individuals and groups with their own agendas who will continue their efforts to take the county in another direction for personal gain. 

But what I really like about Ransom's blueprint for Queen Anne's future is that it leaves no wiggle room for misinterpretation. No fuzzy rhetoric to cloud the issue. No  planning department psychobabble to confuse the public. The guidelines to the planning commission are written with total candor in layman's language. 
Here's an example: "...assume that the severely limited capacity available in the near-term from the KNSG Wastewater Treatment Facility will be primarily allocated on Kent Island to existing needs such as homes with failing septic systems...

Unlike comprehensive master plans of the past, no one can say they didn't understand the meaning or intent. The guidelines are open to debate, but not to interpretation. What you see is what you get. It pre-empts the opposition from saying things like;  "These issues are just too complex for the public to understand."  Sound familiar?

If the past election is any indication the public will not only understand, but will be quick to distinguish the good guys from the bad, and not at all timid about making their voices heard. 

PS: You can get a copy of the entire resolution on

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© 2000 - 2003 Bill Evans.  Used By Permission.  All Rights Reserved.
Two Cents Worth columns appear weekly in the Bay Times in spite of the editor’s usual good taste and judgment.

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